Friday, June 30, 2017

Photo: Tallest Building in Atlanta

My wife Daisy wanted a photo of this skyscraper behind her. I looked it up and it is the tallest building in Atlanta. It's called Bank of America Plaza which is ironic since they're based in Charlotte and even this building is taller than the one in Charlotte. At the time I write this, it's the 14th tallest in the United States, and the 97th tallest in the world. 

Question: Are You Sad Over the Retirement of Daniel Day-Lewis?

Daniel Day-Lewis recently let news break that he will no longer act again, which isn't too shocking considering that he was always pretty cautious about what film roles he should pick up. He has a new film coming up called Phantom Thread so fans will get one last movie out of him before he's really retired. 

Will you miss Daniel Day-Lewis? 

Fact of the Day: Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Like many others in the White House before him, Donald Trump has appointed friends or their relatives of his own party (Republican Party) with roles in government. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is not any different as she's the daughter of former Arkansas Governor, former Fox News host, and 2016 Presidential GOP candidate Mike Huckabee. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Photos: Game-X Arcade Atlanta

 On our last day in Atlanta, I was trying to manage our time before we had to go back to the hotel, get our bags, and then go to the train station. Game-X seemed like a decent idea after a saw a billboard near the College Football Hall of Fame. Arcades have "died" for the most part in America, but you'd figure a big city's would be pretty neat.

The Red Turtle (2016 Film) Review

 Like most Studio Ghibli films before it, I didn't know about The Red Turtle in its first year. Unlike most Studio Ghibli films, it's not a pure Japanese creation as they worked with a French company to bring this story to life on the silver screen. I think I heard of The Red Turtle first because of its nomination for Best Animated Feature for this years Oscars where it lost to Zootopia. What really hit me as strange is that the movie has virtually no dialogue (there are sounds of course) but the movie did really well with critics. So while it didn't really sound my cup of tea, I wasn't really going to miss the movie either. 
The Red Turtle's story begins with a young nameless man being shipwrecked during an violent ocean storm one night. He manages to find an island where there's enough fresh water and food to survive on. But there is literally nobody else who lives on this island. While it's more dangerous to sail back, the man figures it'd be for the best. Nobody from the outside world will ever find him, and it might be his only chance to get back to civilization. But the battle won't be easy, as he'll have to figure out his own way to get off the island. 
Luckily for the man, he has the knowledge and skill to build simple rafts. They might not be top technology, but it floats. But once the man gets out into the pretty blue waters, someone wrecks his boat. He manages to reach the beach before he drowns, and rests again before trying to escape once more. Again he builds another impressive raft, but it is destroyed again by a giant red turtle. Frustrated and angry, the man is almost hopeless about getting back to the mainland. However when he sees The Red Turtle crawling on the beach, that's when everything changes in ways you would not expect.  
Overall The Red Turtle is rather weak and may be my least favorite film by Studio Ghibli. I can see why this impressed the Oscar people because the animation is beautiful and the whole film is rather artsy. But I like deep plots with my movies and the simple story (with no dialogue) moves about as slow as a turtle. It also gets rather strange, and the ending was not what I had expected and I wasn't too impressed with the conclusion either. But I will say it's neat on a level where anyone in the world can watch this movie and understand it without any knowledge of any other language or help of a translation. 

Score: C+

Fact of the Day: Jurassic Turtles

While the modern species are more recent, turtles as a biological order have been around since the late Jurassic era about 157 million years ago. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Photo: Atlanta Starbucks

This is Daisy after getting some kind of chocolate mint frappe thing from Starbucks in downtown Atlanta. Starbucks is her favorite. 

Lilo and Stitch (2002 Film) Review

All the way back in the year 2002 I never saw Lilo & Stitch either in theaters or at home and I'm not quite sure why I skipped over it. I knew the little blue guy was some kind of alien monster, and the two girls were from Hawaii. But that was about it from I could pick up from what I heard about the film. I've been meaning to catch up on Disney classics I've missed over the years. Granted it's been fifteen years since the movie was brand new, so has it aged well? Is it as good as The Lion King? Or is Lilo & Stitch as bad as some of the direct-to-video garbage Disney churns out?

Fact of the Day: Latex Paint Allergy

When someone has a latex allergy they are reacting to substances found in natural rubber latex originating from certain types of trees. While most water-based house paints claim to be latex, that type of latex is synthetic which means a person with a latex allergy would not be affected by the synthetic latex.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Photos: Peachtree Mall Dairy Queen

 At the Peachtree Mall in Atlanta there really wasn't much there to look at since it's a joke by real mall standards. We weren't hungry but after many steps in the hot sun, I saw they had Dairy Queen so we both got blizzards.

The Maze Runner (2014 Film) Review

I don't know why but I always assumed The Maze Runner was based on a book from perhaps the 1990's but the novel (by author James Dashner) came out in 2009 which wasn't even ten years ago. So to have a movie in 2014 is pretty fast for the novel to film translation. I hadn't really noticed but I couldn't really tell if The Maze Runner was a hit or miss with the box office or critics. The movie was enough of a success to get a sequel the year after, but another one is also coming next year as well. But before I can say I'll watch the sequels, I will have to like the original enough to care about finishing the story. 

Fact of the Day: James Randi

James Randi became a magician in his career but his skeptic nature made him more famous for debunking the paranormal. He started a paranormal challenge which mostly encouraged anyone who claimed to have psychic or supernatural powers to prove it by doing the same tricks they claimed to have the ability but under the supervision of Randi and using only approved materials. Anyone who passed Randi's test would of gotten the large reward, but over the many years not a single person won the challenge. Randi was also responsible for exposing TV Televangelist Peter Popoff as a fraud as his faith healing stunts were only made possible due to information (audience members would write their stories on "faith cards" before the show) being fed via live radio in a ear-piece by his wife. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Photo: Chick-fil-A Downtown Atlanta

Like Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A got its start in Atlanta, Georgia where it remains as its headquarters. So I wasn't really surprised to see one adjoined to the College Football Hall of Fame. So we ate there for lunch. 

Things I Hate: Give the Rainbow Back to God (Phrase)

Like how far-right extremists (Tea Party) took the Gadsden Flag as their own, the LGBT community has pretty much owned the rainbow. I think it's hilarious and yet still rather frustrating ridiculous that there are a few people on the religious-right who demand that the LGBT community give the rainbow symbol "back to God".

In Abrahamic mythology, the rainbow appears as a promise from God to never drown the Earth ever again. Rainbows are merely a separation of  white light we can see, if it was a promise from deity I don't think I could see it from a garden hose or a crystal. Rainbows were in other religions as well, so should the LGBT community give it back to the Chinese goddess Nuwa who not only was suppose to have created the world but used rainbows as well? 

Nikki Haley is Mad Because People Booed Her at Pride Rally

Former SC Governor (now U.S. Ambassador) Nikki Haley got upset after people had booed her while she was with her son in New York after a pride rally passed by the restaurant she was at. She claimed this country is "better than this" and that "hate never wins". To be fair Nikki Haley was not even close to being the worst politician on LGBT issues, but she still defended laws that discriminated against the LGBT community in South Carolina and hid under the rock of "religious liberty" when all else failed. When you did the opposite of protection, what else kind of response did you expect? You can't support bigotry while you're in office and expect immunity from criticism when you leave. 

Fact of the Day: James Achilles Kirkpatrick

James Achilles Kirkpatrick was a British administrator in the early days of the British-ruled India. While British, James really took kind to the culture of the Indians he interacted with. He adopted many customs and even married a noblewoman named Khair-un-Nissa and converted to Shia Islam. Kirkpatrick was considered to have "betrayed' British interests and got in pretty serious trouble with his superiors. He had two children with his wife who were shortly sent to England to live with their paternal family. The two children were given new "Christian" names, baptized, and were kept by their British family members from interacting with their relatives in India. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Photos: College Football Hall of Fame Football Field

  The College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia has a little football field on the bottom floor. We luckily made it before a school group ruined things for us. It's probably my favorite part of the whole place except maybe the anchor virtual reality.

Things I Like: Dragon Ball Z Kai (Season 2)

As I've mentioned before, my wife has never seen Dragon Ball Z, so I introduced her to Dragon Ball Z Kai which is like the original just without all the filler made just for the anime. It starts a little after the Namek Saga really begins. Gohan and Krillin are in a pickel because they have to get the Dragon Balls from not only Vegeta but Frieza as well.

Fact of the Day: Canberra

While Sydney and Melbourne are more famous, Canberra is the capital city of Australia. The city was chosen as a compromise between the two main rival cities. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Photos: Football Height

 At the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia there is a stand where they show you the ideal size of a football player. I'm just a hair under 6ft, and even I look tiny in comparison.

Things I Like: Lidl

 I'm sure my friends in Europe know exactly what I'm talking about, but most of my American and Canadian friends probably don't. Lidl is a German supermarket that spread across Europe. Like Aldi they are getting into the United States. While it isn't on my side of town (there is one soon to open though) this one is one of the very first in the United States. I think Lidl is doing the east coast first, so my friends out west might have to wait.

Fact of the Day: Tunisia Alien Planet

In the Star Wars film series both Luke Skywalker and his father Anakin Skywalker grow up on a planet called Tatooine. The name for the planet comes from the film location of the town of Tataouine in the country Tunisia. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Photo: Virtual Reality Goggles

This is my wife wearing the VR goggles at the 2nd floor of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. I did it as well and it looks like you're literally on the side of a field at a live football game. No matter where you turn (360 degrees) everything moves in real time. 

Favorite Quotes: Wife's Birthday

"The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once."

-Joseph Cossman

I think this is probably one of the truest statements you will ever hear. My wife Daisy was born on September 11th (1986) so it's pretty darn hard to forget her birthday. I could imagine how awful my life would be if I did though. 

Fact of the Day: Scary Soviet Driving

From 1964 until his death in 1982, the Soviet Union was led by Leonid Brezhnev. Personally Brezhnev loved driving foreign cars. While on a state trip to Washington D.C. he really wanted to drive Nixon's Lincoln Continental but the Secret Service wouldn't let him. He apparently tried to convince them though as he said "I will take the flag off the car, put on dark glasses, so they can't see my eyebrows and drive like any American would". Brezhnev was so reckless at driving that Henry Kissinger replied "I have driven with you and I don't think you drive like an American!". 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Photos: College Football Hall of Fame Anchors

 At the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2nd floor is considered Virtual Reality. By the far the coolest is the anchor booth. You sit down and read the lines off a monitor.

Question: What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Think of America Now?

Martin Luther King Jr. died almost a half-century ago, and while it's not possible to ask him (duh) I'd say might be fairly easy to suspect what he'd think of a more modern America. I think he'd be proud that America has become more diverse and civil rights are strong in the legal system now. However I think he'd be ashamed of how many people are still racist, but yet claim they're not in public but then say something that logically confirms their bigotry. I also wouldn't blame MLK if he rolled over in his grave when America "elected" an Angry Creamsicle to be the new President of the United States either. 

What do you think MLK would of said on the status of a 2017 America? 

Fact of the Day: William Mulholland

While Los Angeles is one of the largest and most notable cities in the world, the city owes a lot to a man named William Mulholland who was responsible for building a aqueduct that gave the city a supply of water in its early history. Sadly for Mulholland, his career came to an end when a dam he had personally inspected quickly collapsed in one of the worst man-made disasters of its time.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Photos: The Literal College Football Hall of Fame

 The College Football Hall of Fame is more than just records of the past elite players and coaches, but the top floor is what you'd literally think it'd be. Everything is digital which is fine by me. Huge touch screens are there and they're all the same so it doesn't matter which one you pick.

Question: Do Kids At Restaurants Annoy You?

I've never really encountered this to be an issue. While there a few kids that are hopeless because their parents have no ability (or the sense to fix it) to control them, most kids at restaurants usually don't make much noise or cause a scene. Why? It's because they have something to do. Most kids are at their worst moments when they're bored out of their minds. Most of these times, it's with mom while she's looking for crap that she never needed in the first place. I know because that's exactly how I remember it when I was young. 

Do they bother you while you eat food? 

Fact of the Day: Manuel Noriega

Manuel Noriega was a military commander who eventually became the dictator of Panama during the 1980's due to the help of the American CIA. Outside of his military career, Noriega was a notable criminal (big into narcotics) but the CIA still helped and even employed him. Noriega proved to be too much of a headache for America, so they eventually deposed him and sent him to American prison for the crimes he committed in the past. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Photos: College Football Hall of Fame Football Helmets

At the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, when you first arrived you tell them you're team and you then see this huge wall of football helmets. They literally have every college team and I couldn't even squeeze them all in this photo.

Question: Can You Believe The Thing About Chocolate Milk?

I'm surprised this story made the splash it did, but it does make me shudder a bit. A recent survey found out that seven percent of actual grown-ups (not kids) think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Honestly I can believe people are that stupid. Most people of average intelligence can be dumb as rocks, so you have to imagine how much dumber the lower half is. 

Can you believe people are that dumb? 

Fact of the Day: Modern Day Noah's Ark

Lead by the creationist Ken Ham, the Ark Encounter is a "Bible-sized" boat that is a tourist attraction based on the Noah's Ark story of the Bible which is located in Grant County, Kentucky. While two similar boats have been made in the modern day to replicate the biblical ship, Ken Ham's is the largest of the three. While Ken Ham had it built to help "prove" the Bible, his ark not only doesn't have animals on it, but it also doesn't even float. It was also built with the help of many laborers, electric equipment, and cost many millions to build. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Photo: College Football Hall of Fame

On our last day in Atlanta, we visited The College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. This is the only one in the nation, so we were lucky it was so close to our home in South Carolina. It used to be in South Bend, Indiana from 1995-2012 but they moved it to attract more guests.  I can see why they had an issue with tourism as even in Atlanta, it doesn't swarm with waves of tourists like the other places we visited. But don't get me wrong, I really liked this place and I'm rather weak when it comes to college football fandom and knowledge. 

The Giver (2014 Film) Review

 Even though the memory isn't quite sharp, I do remember The Giver back in 2014 but I never saw it. Certainly not a movie I'd go see in theaters on a whim. You easily notice the film's two biggest stars one of whom is Meryl Streep whom I don't like nearly as much as other people do. I am a big fan of Jeff Bridges though, and I was surprised to learn that not only is this based on a novel from 1993 but Jeff Bridges tried to get this movie made shortly after the book's release with his father Lloyd Bridges in the titular role of The Giver. The novel wasn't stand-alone either, as it was part of a fairly healthy sized series. Seeing how it's been a few years, and as far as I know there is no plans for a sequel, I kind of worried on if this film did well at all.

Fact of the Day: Granny Lee

At the end of the American Civil War, Robert E Lee was respected by friend and foe alike but his biggest critics were actually at the start of the war in the South. His men initially called him Granny Lee because of his timid style of command. Confederate newspapers generally had the same fears of a less aggressive style of command. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Photo: View of Atlanta

 When we got our hotel room in Atlanta, Daisy said she wanted the tallest floor to me. We got stuck with whatever room was ours. I thought it was an odd thing for her to say. Then in the mornings, she opened up the blinds and gazed at the view. We were on floor eleven I think, so it was a decent view of Atlanta.

House of Cards (TV Series) Season 5 Review

 House of Cards is still one of my favorite television shows to watch even if the last two seasons don't hold a candle to the first two. To be honest, Frank Underwood's rise to power is far more interesting than his attempt to hold on to the position of President of the United States. At the end of the fourth season, we saw the end of the primaries for President which secured President Frank Underwood the Democratic nomination with a rather shocking addition of First Lady Claire Underwood as his running mate. Frank Underwood spent many months planning the fall of President Walker, but now there are more than a few people trying to take him down as President. Will Underwood/Underwood make it past 2016 and into 2017?

Fact of the Day: The 12th Amendment

Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr had an awkward moment after the 1800 President election. While they ran as running mates, the choices were technically unclear of who should be president or vice president. Electors created a crisis where Aaron Burr could had possibly be chosen as president instead of Jefferson. Soon after the 12th amendment was passed to ensure that the ballot made it clear there was difference of which candidate was running for what office. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Photo: Mama Mia Atlanta Restaurant

 As we waited for day two to be almost over, we stopped at Mama Mia which obviously has a pizza theme, but serves just about anything besides seafood or international stuff. We didn't really plan on it, but we just happened to be near it at the right time. 
Daisy had a burger and a side of fries. I will say the food was good enough, but the restaurant was HOT that day. And their drink machine was down so we got drinks in plastic bottles instead. This is one of my biggest pet peeves at restaurants. 

Story: Lost People at Work

During training at one of my old workplaces, I was given a brief intro by the Loss Prevention guy. The whole thing was just an company-mandated thing about intimidating anyone who might be tempted to steal, and since I would never do such a thing morally (and not stupid enough to try either) I found it mundane, But at first the LP guy asked me what I thought his job was. I basically explained what it was, he was there to prevent theft, and also stop any other kind of loss at the store like incorrect practices and making sure things are safe. He told me one guy said "You're here to find lost people" and the guy wasn't kidding. He told me that the guy didn't last very long there since he was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. 

Fact of the Day: Bride Burning

Bride burning is a practice that occurs often in or around India. A bride is brutally murdered through burning by the husband and/or his family after the bride's family refuses to give out additional dowry. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Photo: The Westin Hotel in Atlanta

We didn't stay at The Westin but Daisy was interested in it since it was suppose to have a rotating restaurant on the top floor. A little boy had died in an accident up there a little bit before we arrived in Atlanta and Daisy was oddly curious on what the place looked like. I'm glad we didn't stay at The Westin, it dwarfs almost every building in Atlanta, and I don't like heights. I hear it was the tallest hotel in the world at one time and that doesn't shock me. 

La La Land (2016 Film) Review

 At the Oscars this year, La La Land was the talk of the talk. Emma Stone won Best Actress which apparently was the reason they had a mishap of wrong envelopes as La La Land was incorrectly named Best Picture. That being said, I was interested especially as I like Emma Stone especially for her role as Gwen Stacey in the 2nd wave of Spider-Man films. I haven't seen much with Ryan Gosling (except The Notebook), but I know he's considered a heartthrob for many women. I heard their chemistry in this movie was really good, and people just love it when two really attractive celebrities have that love story whether it's fictional or not. Though while I'll admit Emma Stone is cute, Ryan Gosling's real-life partner Eva Mendes certainly has her outclassed in terms of looks. But anyways, did I like La La Land?

Fact of the Day: Johan de Witt

Johan de Witt was a key figure in Dutch politics during the mid 17th century. His stance of having far less power for the monarchy directly made him the enemy of William III Prince of Orange, who actually co-ruled England with Mary II. Supporters of the monarchy murdered Johan de Witt and were said to have eaten his liver.  William III was probably very likely to have influenced de Witt's murderers to take drastic action.